Menu

Game changer? Austria Center Vienna’s 15-minute Covid-19 test trial

Following ‘overwhelming’ interest from event organisers, hotels and politicians, the Austria Center Vienna has published key insights from its Covid-19 test pilot project on 16 and 17 September.

Susanne Baumann-Söllner

The pilot project which involved 2,000 participants was run in partnership with the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund and medical products wholesaler Alpstar.

“We wanted to use the pilot project to show that rapid tests can significantly improve the safety of events and that their use is practicable from an organisational point of view,” Susanne Baumann-Söllner, managing director of the Austria Center Vienna said.

“The overwhelming feedback and interest from all industries show us just how much hope is being placed in the new testing system. We are very pleased to have provided this initial impetus with the support of our project partners and would like to make our insights available to all interested parties,” added Baumann-Söllner.

The insights

  • Out of the 2,000 rapid tests that were handed in, five were positive. The diagnoses were subsequently confirmed in PCR tests conducted immediately after.
  • Each test took around 30 seconds to complete with test results being delivered in six to 10 minutes.
  • Each test lane requires one medical expert to take the throat swab and two to three assistants to prepare the solution and support the test subjects. In addition, a team of paramedics is on hand at the end of the test lane to manage any positive cases.
  • In total, five people tested positive. After being isolated immediately, an additional PCR test was carried out before the individuals concerned were sent to quarantine at home.
  • On the second day of the event, one person tested positive, having presented a negative result on the first day. This suggests that rapid tests should be carried out on a daily basis at multi-day events. In addition, a negative test result should never be mistaken for total protection against Covid-19 – but it is an effective tool that significantly reduces the chances of infection at events.
  • For a full breakdown of the trail’s results and in-depth insights, visit the Austria Centre Vienna website here.